Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Worth. Every. Penny. I said this about Kingsmen, and the Iron Man Movies and even the last Avengers and I will say it about this movie, this movie knows what it is and does not try to be something more than that. The Avengers: Age of Ultron knows what it wants to do and achieves it, brilliantly. It never takes itself too seriously. Even the most emotional moments have humor sprinkled in. The plot is a comic book plot so there were no surprises there. The acting is fantastic, leaps and bounds better than I expected and I expected a lot. The visuals are incredible and the music is spot on. The realism of Ultron, the fight sequences, car chases, explosions, all of it fantastic and surrounded by a pretty good score. If you have liked any Marvel movie up to this point, see Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, do not stay through the entire credits. There is no scene at the end. Otherwise take 3 hours out of your day and go see this movie. ASAP.
As a sports fan and a pseudo-writer I would be remiss to not talk about the Tim Tebow signing by the Eagles. Let me put all my biases at the front so people are aware. I love Tim Tebow, the athlete. He has a proven record of success, in college and the pros, given that he is surrounded by the right system. Coming out of college I never thought Tebow would succed, not because he is not good, but because there was no system out there that fit his skills. The Broncos made a half-assed effort at giving him a chance and he led them to the playoffs and then an unlikely playoff victory and for that they cut him. Although Denver ultimately won the Peyton Manning race, I always felt that Tebow’s time was cut short. From there Tebow bounced around and ultimately found himself out of the league.
Fast forward a few years and here we are again, Tebow at the number spot in the media. The Eagles have been making splashy moves all offseason long. It is hard to discount Chip Kelly at this particular venture. His decisions have seemed to pan out so far but this offseason looks more like the moves of a man fighting for his job instead of the moves of one of the greatest tacticians in sports. The Bradford trade was odd but believable, the Murray signing was by all accounts good but this, this is just odd. Tebow is fresh off the sportscaster desk, not fresh out of college. He also joins a cast of quarterbacks that include Barkley and Sanchez. It is not as if the Eagles were looking for a QB. No matter how you slice it, this seems like a strange move. However, of all the pro systems out there right now, the Ealges fit Tebow’s style the best. By all measurements this is probably a PR move but if anyone could pull a hat out of thin air and then a rabbit out of that hat, it is Kelly. Stay tuned, but do not get your hopes up for Tebowing 2.0.
Well Disney has finally done it. Following the success of the newest live-action Cinderella movie, Disney has announced that they will be making a Mulan film. Mulan is hands down, my favorite Disney movie. With a fantastic soundtrack and a great voice acting, Mulan is easily one of the most underrated Disney films. Mulan recently made an appearance in Once Upon A Time and was portrayed by the talented Jamie Chung. I am curious to see if she will reprise the role in the feature length film. The most interesting character will be Mushu. Mushu worked perfectly in the animated film, but in a live-action film, I am worried about how he will come out. Regardless, I am looking forward to the film and hope it does not ruin one of my childhood favorites.
Just a chill song to end Monday. Hope you guys enjoy.
Tree of Life (2011)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn
Directed by: Terrence Malick
There have been very few movies in my life that I could not finish. The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick now has found a place on that list. From the outset it had the classic Malick style with beautiful visuals but the storyline never came together. After almost an hour I had no attachment to any of the characters nor any idea what the story really was. This is a film that critics say has moved them to tears and has won incredibly prestigious awards yet I couldn’t have felt any more different. Even Sean Penn, one of the stars of the film, said that the film could have used a more direct plot and still delivered an equally emotional message. Unfortunately, I will never know the message behind this film. If you wish to watch this film, be my guest, I would love to hear your review, but I am not a fan.
Ernest and Celestine (2012)
Starring: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally
Directed by: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
About 2 years ago I saw the preview for Ernest and Celestine. I do not know what it was about the preview. It could have been the music, or the art style or maybe something else entirely but, when the preview ended I knew I had to see this movie. However, I never found a theater near me showing the movie. And, like so many other lesser known films, this one passed me by. As soon as I could, I put it on my Netflix queue, and many months(years) later it showed up. Despite more than 24 months going by between preview and viewing, I loved this movie. The plot is so simple but, in these times of social tension, leave it to a children’s movie to cut to the core of the issue in a way that policy makers seem to struggle with. Surrounding this incredible story is phenomenal voice acting , an incredibly unique art style and a fantastic soundtrack. As a children’s movie, I rank this as one of the best. On its surface Ernest and Celestine may seem like a simple movie, but the message behind this child’s plot is so much more. Who knew they could pack so much into 80 minutes? Peter Jackson should take notes. I highly recommend this movie. Kid, teenager, adult, everyone will find something to love.
I was recently shown this song by my mother. This is definitely not the first place I go for new music. However, she got this one right. Shut Up and Dance is a catchy, upbeat, song that I do not mind having stuck in my head. Anyone looking for a pick me up should give this song a listen. Hope you enjoy.